Miss Gammon 2007 Thrilled by Player International Million Event
by Stephanie Kardos - 22 February 2007
Stephanie Kardos of Canada, Miss Gammon 2007, relates here thoughts and experiences on attending the Player International Million Dollar Backgammon Tournament held at the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas last month.

I was very excited to be presented with the opportunity to be Miss Gammon 2007 and was thrilled when Player International chose me to represent the game worldwide.

I was invited by Stephen Pearson to attend the PartyGammon Million event in The Bahamas which he organized with Michael Strato and Susana Major.

The tournament could not have been held in a more beautiful place. The Atlantis property is truly remarkable and must be seen, even if you are a guest at another hotel there. There is no shortage of wonderful sights across the 14-acre resort – even after five days I still wasn’t able to see it all.

View from my room of the beach side of the Atlantis Resort - there are pools, lagoons, a man-made beach, bars, restaurants, the ocean and more.
A little more to the left, this image shows the Mayan Temple and the amazing Leap of Faith Water Slide. Sliders reach a speed of 35 miles per hour going down this almost vertical drop - it also passes through a transparent acrylic tunnel submerged in a shark-infested lagoon.

Although I have been playing backgammon for many years, it is difficult to meet many players or find live events in Canada, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the tournament in The Bahamas but I was excited nonetheless. The Welcome Cocktail Party was great, I have never met so many people with a common love of the game.

Over 100 of the world’s greatest players had gathered for this fantastic tournament - it was like the United Nations of backgammon with players from Canada, the USA, England, Germany, Holland, Greece, Denmark, France, Brazil, Russia, Japan and so many more.

On the night of the Calcutta Auction, I was looking forward to meeting many of the backgammon greats. I was surprised to find out that many of them were also looking forward to meeting me. Everyone was extremely friendly and excited about the entire event.

Stephanie Kardos meets Steve Sax of the USA, Backgammon Giant #6,

during the Welcome Cocktail Party at the Atlantis Resort.

For the first, and some of the other rounds of the tournament, I did the random draw that determined who played who. Each draw was essential to the random pairing of the players.

My favourite part of the tournament had to be the sound of dice rattling in the cups. Nothing says “backgammon” like that sound. Once the tournament began you could hear nothing but dice for hours. It was interesting to walk around the room noting the varying speeds of each match. After an hour, the scores in some matches were reaching their end while others had barely begun.

The week continued, each round of the main flight getting smaller and smaller. I was lucky enough to be able to do it all: relax by the pool, watch the tournament and meet some fabulous people.

The last game of the tournament demonstrated exactly what I love the most about backgammon – it’s not over until it’s over! The game can take many twists and turns before a winner is declared. Congratulations to Andreas Märtens for winning!

The awards gala on the last evening was beautifully organized. The winners were presented with trophies, and many received honourable mentions as well. It was my pleasure to assist Carol Joy Cole and Roxanne Siordia in presenting the prizes.

After the dinner, many of us (players and organizers) partied into the night in the Dragons Bar of the Atlantis Resort, dancing and celebrating a most successful tournament.

I feel honoured to have been chosen as Miss Gammon 2007, and I look forward to my continued involvement with the Backgammon community throughout the year. Special thanks to all the players who treated me so nicely, and to Player International and PartyGammon for inviting me to be there.



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